Pitt County Animal Services (PCAS) launched the Pitt County Shelter Buddies Reading Program on Thursday, June 23, 2022 at the newly renovated facility located at 4550 County Home Road, Greenville, NC 27858.
The free reading program incorporates volunteerism and reading literacy to increase animal socialization efforts for shelter dogs up for adoption.
According to the University of California, Davis 2010 study ‘All Ears Reading Program’ an animal-assisted therapy program, researchers found reading literacy improved by 12 percent in one group of children and 30 percent in homeschooled children. (UC Davis, 2010)
The ASPCA launched their Storytelling Program in April 2014 with more than 560 volunteers of all ages logging over 10,000 hours reading to dogs to reduce shelter anxiety and stress. (ASPCA, 2019)
“The Shelter Buddies Program truly embodies the Pitt County Mission to enhance the health, safety, and well-being of our community, by encouraging and enhancing reading skills while bringing joy to our children and shelter pets,” says Janis Gallagher, Pitt County Manager.
“The Pitt County Shelter Buddies Reading Program is designed to bring comfort to and reduce the anxiety of our shelter pets while nurturing empathy in children. We’re very excited to share this opportunity with the community and children who read for 10 hours will receive a special Shelter Buddy t-shirt,” says Miranda Jarman, PCAS Shelter Supervisor.
Parents/guardians or group leaders may sign up online https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050548A9AE2DAAFA7-shelter or call PCAS at 252-902-1725.
“Pitt County children and children’s groups ages 6-15 years old are invited to join the reading fun on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Animal Shelter. The pilot program will run through Friday, August 26, 2022,” says Chad Singleton, Director, PCAS.
Program requirements include: children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, bring a book (sitting pillow if desired), wear closed-toed rubber-soled shoes, and read as little or as long during the designated hours. Cancellations should be made via email or phone at least one hour prior to the scheduled session. Reading sessions are by appointment only and limited to five readers each day.
For more information or to schedule a session, contact Miranda Jarman, Shelter Supervisor at 252-902-1726 or Miranda.Jarman@PittCountyNC.gov.
USDavis.edu. (2010, April 16). Reading to Rover: Does it really help children? Veterinary school says ‘yes’. https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/reading-rover-does-it-really-help-children-veterinary-school-says-%E2%80%98yes%E2%80%99
ASPCA.org (2019, September 16). Read A Book to Benefit Yourself and a Furry Friend! Read a Book to Benefit Yourself and a Furry Friend! | ASPCA